One of the state parks that we have been most looking forward to seeing is Roan Mountain State Park. And being in the northeast corner of the state this weekend made for a perfect opportunity to go and see it. As usual, we started at the visitor center to get a park map to figure out what trails we wanted to do on this trip. Since it was just the two of us, we decided on 4 different trails of different difficulty levels.
Peg Leg Mine Trail:: The first trail we took was the Peg Leg Mine Trail. This trail is just behind the visitor center to the left. It is an easy/moderate trail that takes visitors up a small slope and then has a short loop. The loop takes you around the small cave that was used for mining iron ore back in the 1800s. Although there are steps down to the cave, there are some fences put in the way of going down. I think because of erosion they want to discourage too many visitors coming down there.
Cloudland Trail Loop:: The next trail was just on the other side of the visitor center from the Peg Leg Mine trail. This trail takes visitors on a loop that offers some more moderate hiking but with beautiful boulders amid the trees and views of the river. They invite you to take this loop to really explore the natural beauty of the park because it gives you a little bit of all the best parts of the park.
Chestnut Ridge Trail:: Next we drove up to Chestnut Ridge. This trail is the most difficult in the park. It follows the ridgeline taking hikers up and down a series of slopes. The most popular time to take this trail is in the winter because with the leaves off the trees you get a better view of the majestic mountains. And the views were absolutely incredible! We didn’t do the entire trail, only about half before turning around, but it was stunning views! Be aware though that bears are common up around this trail so be sure to hike with someone and make lots of noise as your hiking so to scare any bears away.
Moonshiner Path Trail:: The last trail we did was the Moonshiners Path Trail. This is the easiest of the trails as it is a gentle walk along the river. This trail starts over by the cabins and it was a great way to finish off our day at the park. The walk was peaceful and we loved getting to be so close to the river.
What a great morning hiking in a new state park and enjoying the beautiful views that these mountains offer.
For more on this state park, go to:: https://tnstateparks.com/parks/roan-mountain